Team leaders in a big ministry gave me this one.

Team members can volunteer to be a colleague’s secret friend. During, say, the next month the colleague receives little, anonymous, favours, gifts or notes.

A few basic rules. It must be a positive experience for the receiver. Any notes must be encouraging and gifts must be tasteful and appropriate. The secret friends must be volunteers.

Our ministry clients ‘borrowed’ the idea from a government department and secret friend schemes seem to be popular overseas. It will only work if you have a large enough team for it not to be easy to work out who the secret friend is.

The research suggests the effect is contagious. When the receivers receive kindness, they pass it on to others. Taking part makes the secret friends happier - and healthier too.


Interested in a workshop on emotional Intelligence for your team? (It's about thriving at work)

What about a workshop on employee engagement? (For your leaders or for your teams)

Know your purpose. Then keep reminding yourself of it whenever you have a setback or you sense your motivation flagging.

Sound a bit soft? It's what the American Marine Corps teaches recruits to do these days. They use it in the notorius endurance event, The Crucible.

It's not enough to know what we want to achieve or even how to go about it. Knowing why a goal is important helps us to carry on.

Why are you studying? Maybe, so that you can get a higher qualification, so that you can be promoted and earn a higher income, so that you can give your family more security and opportunities.

Why are you developing your team's customer service skills? Maybe, so that your customers will enjoy dealing with them, so they will get more positive feedback and be more productive, enjoy coming to work and stay with your organisation longer.


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